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Boiling point of water

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Study Skills ANALYZING WORD PARTS

Part of learning biology involves learning many new words. By breaking down some of the words, you can more easily understand their meaning. The table below provides a simple definition and example of some common prefixes, suffixes, and word roots. Refer to this table as you explore each chapter in this textbook.

WORD PREFIXES, SUFFIXES, AND WORD ROOTS

Prefix, suffix, or word root

Definition

Example

a-

not, without

asymmetrical: not symmetrical

ab-

away, apart

abduct: move away from the middle

-able

able

viable: able to live

ad-

to, toward

adduct: move toward the middle

amphi-

both

amphibian: type of vertebrate that lives both on land and in water

ante-

before

anterior: front of an organism

anti-

against

antibiotic: substance, such as penicillin, capable of killing bacteria

arche-

ancient

Archaeopteryx: a fossilized bird

arthro-

joint

arthropod: jointed-limbed organism belonging to the phylum Arthropoda

auto-

self, same

autotrophic: able to make its own food

bi-

two

bivalve: mollusk with two shells

bio-

life

biology: the study of life

blast-

embryo

blastula: hollow ball stage in the development of an embryo

carcin-

cancer

carcinogenic: cancer-causing

cereb-

brain

cerebrum: part of the vertebrate brain

chloro-

green

chlorophyll: green pigment in plants needed for photosynthesis

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